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Xavi talks Cancelo, Felix, Inaki Pena, Lewandowski following Barcelona 2-1 Porto



Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

The pressure was on Xavi and Barcelona to deliver tonight heading into their UEFA Champions League clash against Porto. A win would take them through to the round of 16, which they had failed to achieve in the last two seasons.

Joao Cancelo took the responsibility on his shoulders today to deliver an absolute masterclass after the Catalans went 0-1 down in the first half. A goal and assist from the Portuguese later, though, Xavi’s men were through.

“After 0-1, everything looked pretty bleak, but we had a winning mentality. In the second half, we were much better. I’m happy, very happy today,” he said about his team’s performance, as relayed by MARCA.

“It’s an important win for the team after two years of Europa League.”

Apart from Cancelo, one of the standouts today for Barça was Iñaki Peña, who, despite conceding, came through with an important performance.

“Inaki has been extraordinary. Not only in the saves, but also in the build-up. He has shown great personality,” Xavi praised the youngster.

He also pointed out some defensive frailties in the team, though, saying, “We did struggle. We need to improve defensively, but also a lot in other things.”

“Cancelo had a great game, and Felix needed this goal. It’s important for him,” he singled out the two goalscorers today.

Xavi was asked about which teams he would not like to face in the knockout stages, and surprisingly, he named the team Barcelona had beaten twice in the group stages.

“Porto. I would not like to play them again this season. They are a great team.”

He ended his post-game presser talking about Robert Lewandowski, saying that the team needed to do better to find him in dangerous areas.

“We have to generate more for Lewandowski.”

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